"Peace-building through cooperatives"
The theme of this year's International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and United Nations (U.N.) International Day of Cooperatives highlights the role of cooperatives in cultivating peace and development worldwide.
Solidarity, democracy and equality define the cooperative model, to which credit union principles are associated. Since before World War I, cooperative values and principles have promoted peace-building through social and economic development in areas of conflict and need.
Cooperatives help build trust among groups of people, empowering individuals and fostering democracy at a grassroots level. They serve those often most neglected by society: women, the poor and victims of conflict.
The ICA established the International Day of Cooperatives in 1927 to shed light on the work of cooperatives throughout the world and to help build local, national and international alliances. Sixty-seven years later, the U.N. General Assembly called on international organizations and governments to recognize the role of cooperatives in economic, social and environmental development. In ICA's centenary year, the U.N. declared the first Saturday in July to be observed as the International Day of Cooperatives.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.